After joining the news wire 30 years ago, Behrakis covered many of the most tumultuous events around the world, including conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya, a huge earthquake in Kashmir and the Egyptian uprising of 2011.
In the process, he won the respect of both peers and rivals for his skill and bravery. He also led a team to a Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for coverage of the refugee crisis.Colleagues who worked with him in the field said Reuters had lost a talented and committed journalist.
"It is about clearly telling the story in the most artistic way possible," veteran Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic said of Behrakis’ style."You won't see anyone so dedicated and so focused and who sacrificed everything to get the most important picture."
That dedication was striking. His friend and colleague of 30 years, senior producer Vassilis Triandafyllou, described him as a "hurricane" who worked all hours of the day and night, sometimes at considerable personal risk, to get the image he wanted.
"My mission is to tell you the story and then you decide what you want to do," he told a panel discussing Reuters Pulitzer Prize-winning photo series on the European migrant crisis.
He worked in a photographic studio in the mid-1980s, but found the atmosphere stifling.It was a 1983 movie, "Under Fire", about a group of reporters working in Nicaragua in the days leading to the 1979 revolution, that inspired him to take up journalism. He started at Reuters in Athens as a freelancer in 1987, and in January, 1989, was sent on his first foreign assignment to Muammar Gaddafi's Libya.
He quickly displayed a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
When Gaddafi visited a hotel where journalists had been cooped up for several days, a scrum of reporters crowded around the Libyan leader to get pictures and soundbites.
The images captured the terror of battle, fear, death, love, intimidation, starvation, homelessness, anger, despair and courage.One photograph from the wars in former Yugoslavia, taken in 1998, shows an ethnic Albanian man lowering the body of a two-year-old boy who had been killed in the fighting into a tiny coffin.
Behrakis took the picture from a high position and used a slow speed/zoom technique to create a dizzying sense of movement.
"The picture was very strong and the body of the boy almost floating in the air," he said of the image. "It almost looked like his spirit was leaving his body for the heavens."
Schork, one of Behrakis' closest friends, was hit and died instantly, and Moreno was also killed. Behrakis and Chisholm escaped.Both survived the attack by crawling into the undergrowth beside the road and hiding in the jungle for hours until the gunmen disappeared. Behrakis took a photo of himself just after the ordeal. The picture shows him staring up at the sky, his eyes dazed.
"I think that changed Yannis a lot," Chisholm said of the attack and Schork's death. The four reporters had got to know each other during the siege of Sarajevo in the mid-1990s and had become a "band of brothers"."He was a great character, a brilliant photographer, a great colleague," Chisholm said.
Behrakis said he hated war, but, like many others, he loved the travel, adventure and camaraderie that came with it. Rather than putting him off, Schork's death drove him back to combat zones, at least for a while.
"His memory helped me to 'return' to covering what I consider the apotheosis of photojournalism: war photography," Behrakis later wrote.
"When you get close to him and he opens up, he is a person you want to sit next to and talk to for hours. You will always get something from him."For a proud Greek with a young daughter, the refugee crisis had a profound effect on Behrakis, causing guilt, insomnia and nightmares.
But it also brought out the best in a photographer who focused on the dignity of humans in distress rather than making them objects of pity.
Triandafyllou was with Behrakis when he took what many consider to be one of his best pictures - of a Syrian refugee carrying and kissing his daughter as he walked down a road in the rain.